Integrated territorial investments are a fundamentally new approach to the implementation of regional policy. The approach requires decentralization of the decision-making process and active participation of citizens in this process. The bottom-up approach involves identifying the needs of the community and looking for alternatives to meet those needs. The choice of the best alternative, ie. the choice of a specific measure or project implies the application of adequate working mechanisms to ensure the involvement of the general public. There are various theories about how to encourage and motivate citizens to participate in public decisions that have a direct impact on them and their way of life. Different strategies and approaches are applied, their effectiveness is different, and it is difficult to find a universal solution.
The aim of this article is to bring out the main theoretical and conceptual issues related to the role, importance, tools for civic participation in public policy-making processes in general and in relation to regional policy in particular. On this basis, an iterative model for applying the bottom-up approach to inclusion in integrated planning will be proposed.
Content analysis of documents and empirical research will outline the main steps that would be useful in the process of decentralization and promoting participation. Based on the deduction and induction, the main barriers and limiting factors will be identified, which so far hinder the more active participation of civil society, business and other organizations in the process of making decisions for regional development. The aim is to outline the main groups of constraints and to suggest possible reactions to them. The framework for decentralization of the process of regional development and stakeholder involvement will be outlined, as well as good practices, existing hypotheses about the commitment of public institutions to ensure inclusion, opportunities to build an environment that ensures a high degree of integration of public policies.